Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Past News: 2016

EPA headquarters building in Washington, D.C.

The Future of the EPA »

December 21, 2016

Stanford Law Professors Deborah Sivas and Michael Wara, both environmental law experts, discuss the future of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Scott Pruitt, who has questioned climate change and describes himself as...

By Sharon Driscoll, Stanford Law School

U.S. Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing

Finding a Way Forward on Climate Change »

December 20, 2016

Top State Department climate change official expresses cautious optimism for progress under incoming President Donald Trump.

By Rob Jordan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

The Athabasca oil sands in northeastern Alberta, Canada.

Unexamined Risks from Tar Sands Oil May Threaten Oceans »

December 20, 2016

A lack of publicly available information about the chemical composition of fuel mined from tar sands hampers efforts to safeguard marine habitats. A new analysis recommends that officials gain a better understanding of the fuel’s...

By Rob Jordan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

A starfish larva to the right of a vortex of water.

Starfish Larvae Create Complex Water Whorls to Eat and Run »

December 19, 2016

Tiny starfish larvae employ a complex and previously unknown survival mechanism involving whorls of water that either bring food to them or speed them away to better feeding grounds.

By Tom Abate, Stanford News Service

Cows in front of a windmill

Methane from Food Production: Climate Change Wildcard  »

December 11, 2016

Reports co-authored by Stanford Earth scientist show concentrations of methane approaching an internationally recognized worst-case scenario and highlight opportunities for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and...

By Rob Jordan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment


Revealing New Discoveries »

December 8, 2016

Stanford researchers will join colleagues from around the U.S. at the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world.

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Irrigated land area decreased by 50 percent in the Yarmouk Basin during the Syrian civil war.

Syrian Crisis Altered Region’s Land and Water Resources »

December 6, 2016

Using remote sensing tools to uncover the environmental impacts of war, researchers introduce novel approaches for hard-to-reach areas.

By Danielle Torrent Tucker, Stanford News Service

Stanford’s solar array

Stanford Unveils Innovative Solar Generating Station »

December 5, 2016

Leading the way in sustainability and innovative green technologies, Stanford celebrated the opening of the Stanford Solar Generating Station in Kern County, Calif. The station will provide more than 50 percent of Stanford’s...

By Taylor Kubota, Stanford News Service

Law enforcement personnel fire a water cannon at Standing Rock protestors in sub-zero temperature.

Standing Rock: Legal and Environmental Challenges »

December 2, 2016

Protestors against the Dakota Access Pipeline have raised legal and environmental challenges against the pipeline’s construction. Stanford experts explain the current legal status of the pipeline and discuss environmental implications.

By Devon Ryan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

What California can Learn from Other Southwest States on Managing Groundwater »

December 2, 2016

Researchers at Stanford and Melbourne University looked at groundwater permitting regimes in southwestern states that could hold important lessons for local agencies in the implementation of California’s new groundwater law, the...

By Devon Ryan, Water in the West

Modeling Groundwater: Key Step for Implementing CA Water Law »

November 30, 2016

A new report recommends a framework for developing groundwater models, critical tools for long-term water management planning, under California’s ambitious groundwater management law.

By Devon Ryan, Water in the West

Meghan Shea, a 2015 fellow in the MUIR program, examines jellyfish during her summer fieldwork off the Pacific island of Palau.

MUIR Fellow Named Rhodes Scholar »

November 21, 2016

Senior environmental systems engineering major Meghan Shea will pursue a master’s degree in Nature, Society and Environmental Governance at the University of Oxford as one of 32 Americans chosen for a Rhodes Scholarship.

By Kate Chesley, Stanford News Service

Researcher Gene Richardson training for in-field Ebola study.

People With Ebola May Not Always Show Symptoms »

November 15, 2016

Research confirms previous suspicions that Ebola virus does not uniformly cause severe disease, and that people may be infected without showing signs of illness, and suggests the epidemic was more widespread than previously believed.

By Ruthann Richter, Stanford Medicine

abandoned natural gas well

New Ways to Identify and Fix Methane-Emitting Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells »

November 15, 2016

New research finds far more abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania than previously thought and provides a framework for identifying wells across the United States and globally that are the worst methane leakers.

By Ker Than, Stanford News Service

Kelp off Southern California’s Channel Islands

Climate Change Survival Story: Kelp »

November 14, 2016

In a global survey of kelp forests, scientists found that some populations are remaining stable or increasing despite global climate change in part due to local management of stressors such as pollution, fishing and coastal...

By Rob Jordan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment


How Will the Election Affect Environmental Policy? »

November 11, 2016

Stanford energy and environmental policy scholars suggest what a Donald Trump presidency could mean for such issues as U.S. participation in international agreements, environmental regulation and the Keystone Pipeline. 

By Rob Jordan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Katharine Mach

How Can the World Manage a Historic Climate Agreement? »

November 9, 2016

Stanford climate scientist Katharine Mach comments on opportunities and obstacles for advancing the Paris Agreement, an ambitious global climate pact that recently went into force.

By Rob Jordan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment


New Glimpse of Melting Under Antarctic Glaciers »

November 7, 2016

The amount of warm ocean water penetrating the undersides of glaciers in West Antarctica and melting them from below has increased significantly since the mid-2000s.

School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

An unused LifeStraw filter hangs in a rural Kenyan home.

Study Finds flaw in Global Effort to Mitigate Carbon Emissions »

November 4, 2016

International mechanisms in which companies earn valuable credits for offsetting greenhouse gas output are subject to inaccurate self-reporting and need third-party monitoring, according to researchers who highlight a case study in...

By Rob Jordan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Before the Flood Movie Poster

"Before the Flood" Screening at Stanford University »

November 2, 2016

The screening of Leonardo DiCaprio's new documentary on global climate change included a panel discussion featuring the film's director, Fisher Stevens.

By Devon Ryan, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment